, Volume 20, Issue 5, pp 366-378
Date: 06 Apr 2011

Information-and-measuring drifter system for the monitoring of currents in the coastal zone of the sea

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The autonomous drifting buoys equipped with satellite link turn into one of the most important components of the global system of operative observations of the ocean and the surface layer of the atmosphere. However, on the regional level, the problem of analysis of the surface circulation of waters in the coastal zone and sea straits remains quite urgent because the available drifters cannot be used in this case due to their sizes and long intervals between measurements. We present the results of development and testing of a new drifter system aimed at measuring currents. The system is based on the use of buoys operating at depths less than 1 m. To improve the space-and-time resolution of measurements, the buoys are equipped with receivers of the global positioning system (GPS) and GSM modems for the data transfer via cellular communication networks. The drifter system guarantees the possibility of determination of the coordinates of buoys with a resolution of 3 min in time and 14 m in space. We describe the specific features of the design of the proposed information-and-measuring drifter system and present the first results of application of new buoys called “minidrifters” for the pilot monitoring of currents in the Kerch Strait.

Translated from Morskoi Gidrofizicheskii Zhurnal, No. 5, pp. 52–64, September–October, 2010.